Why See Blackbird?
Starring Jeff Daniels & Michelle Williams
A troubling and intense work which explores the emotional scarring left by abuse, Blackbird boils theatre down to its most essential elements. It's a heart-stopping confrontation between one man and one woman, bonded together through a horrendous past experience.
Written by Scottish playwright David Harrower, Blackbird stunned critics and audiences alike when it premiered at 2005's Edinburgh festival, and again when it debuted on American shores at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Emmy winner Jeff Daniels reprises his role as Ray from that production, starring alongside Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams. Both leads are nominated for Tony Awards, while Blackbird is also up for Best Revival of a Play.
Best known for his big and small screen work, Jeff Daniels's remarkable range stretches from playing the lovable idiot Harry Dunne in Dumb and Dumber, to delivering Aaron Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogue as Will McAvoy in HBO's The Newsroom (a role which garnered him an Emmy in 2013). Also a seasoned stage actor, he was last seen on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage in 2009.
Three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams is a more recent Broadway alumn, having made her hugely acclaimed debut in 2014 as Cabaret's Sally Bowles. While her first major screen role came in Dawson's Creek, she's concentrated on independent and experiential work in recent years, starring in the likes of Wendy and Lucy, Blue Valentine and Meek's Cutoff.
What Is Blackbird About?
50-something office worker Ray once committed a terrible crime and now he is forced to reckon with his victim, face-to-face. Fifteen years ago he had a sexual relationship with a twelve year old girl named Una. The abuse was discovered and Ray was imprisoned.
After being released, Ray has managed to build a new life for himself, but the past won't let him get away so easy. Una turns up at his workplace, demanding to talk to him. After hustling her into a grubby storage room, the pair embark on an intense and angry confrontation, which never seems to head in the direction you would expect.
Previews from: 5 February 2016
Opening night: 10 March 2016
Not suitable for younger audiences due to adult themes
One hour and 30 minutes with no intermission
Cast and Creative
Jeff Daniels as Ray
Michelle Williams as Una
Written by David Harrower
Directed by Joe Mantello
Set Design by Scott Pask
Costumes by Ann Roth
Lighting by Brian MacDevitt
2016 Tony Award Nominations
Best Revival of a Play
Best performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Jeff Daniels
Best performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Michelle Williams
What we thought
Incredible intriguing COMPLEX
A heart wrenching performance you must see.
Despite the emotional intensity of the play leaving me feeling like I had been flattened by a six-foot truck, it was worth every minute and left me sitting in my seat having to take a few deep breaths and comprehend the weight Blackbird bears, aRead full review
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